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Planning for Upcoming Events

    If you’ve relied on alcohol to relax you and see you through social events, you might worry about upcoming events when you’re working toward becoming alcohol free (AF). I find that visualizing upcoming events helps me prepare to enjoy events — sober.

    Without a plan, you might find yourself worrying about lots of what-if possibilities:

    • What if someone offers me a drink?
    • What if they ask why I’m not drinking?
    • What if I feel overwhelmed by cravings and end up drinking?

    The first time you attend an event, or a particular kind of event, it may be difficult. The first dinner party, the first wedding, the first holiday gathering — there can be lots of different kinds of events, and your first experience of each one without alcohol can be challenging.

    Make a firm decision

    Decide whether you’re going to drink or not. If you leave it up to how you feel in the moment, you may end up drinking when that’s not really what you want.

    If you decide up front that you will remain AF, you are less likely to be tempted to drink. Remember your why — the reasons you are choosing to change your relationship with alcohol.

    Then spend some time in mental preparation. Think about the kinds of questions people might ask and how you might answer them. If you’re having fun — and perhaps have a festive-looking glass of sparkling water in your hand — your friends aren’t likely to pressure you to drink. Don’t let your anxiety push you to bring the subject up yourself, but be ready to say that you’ve chosen not to have alcohol if you need to.

    You can leave

    Remember, you have the option of leaving if you decide to. It’s up to you, and it doesn’t send any negative message if that’s what you choose to do in order to take care of yourself.

    Are you ready to talk with someone about your relationship with alcohol?

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